Ecuador arrests suspect of brutal assault on reporter during protests

The alleged author of a brutal assault on a journalist in the protests that Ecuador experienced last October was captured by the police on Thursday, said the Minister of Government, María Paula Romo.

In her Twitter account, the Ecuadorian minister identifies the detainee as José Manuel Guacho, "author of the assault on Fredy Paredes on the outskirts of the House of Culture in October 2019".

Romo said the alleged aggressor was arrested in the afternoon by Ecuadorian police officers and added that he will be placed "immediately" under judicial provision.

The events occurred on October 10 in Quito, when Paredes, a journalist for the Ecuadorian television channel Teleamazonas, received a stone in the head after leaving an enclosure where the indigenous group held eight police officers and two alleged infiltrators.

Different videos spread about the event showed the journalist walking and followed by several people when an aggressor threw him a stone with great violence, which made him fall to the ground.

Another recording shows Paredes lying on his back while he seems to be convulsing and it can be seen that a trail of blood emanates from his head.

In another clip you can see the face of the aggressor, briefly held by some people who question the reason for his actions and assure that he gave him a moment of "courage."

After being treated for the injury in a medical center, the journalist blamed the attack on senior management of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), and its president, Jaime Vargas.

The journalist and his cameraman had been in the Agora of the House of Culture of Quito since the morning hours, where the Ecuadorian indigenous movement kept eight police officers and two alleged infiltrators of the security forces.

On that day different indigenous leaders launched messages against two television channels, including Teleamazonas, which they accused of issuing alleged biased information and of not reflecting the social reality or the violent repressions denounced by that group.

Paredes himself addressed the nearly 4,000 people who concentrated on the site taken by the Conaie, and from the stage tried to explain his professional work to those present, who booed him.

During the wave of demonstrations in Ecuador, more than 130 attacks on media and journalists were reported in twelve days, according to the Andean Foundation for Media Observation and Study (Fundamedios).


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